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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 7, 2015 6:00am-7:01am EDT

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er when you recharge it without knocking them over. that is a very difficult question of thermodynamics. one reason we are not there is that we are about somewhere between 1/10 and one fifth of energy density of gasoline when you put energy and the battery the fifth of the energy of gasoline when you put energy into a battery and use it. we are down to 10 to 20% of where we are with gasoline. or coal, if you are talking about the grid. so taking dirt out of the ground and burning it is still a very effective and efficient way to do things. that is the physicist's answer. there's a whole series of political and business answers as how you make a shift to the electric age 2.0. steve: i know that just with the stuff and material that are gone -- that argon invented that is at the cutting edge and this is the stuff that if a super battery, at this time, if a super battery is going to be
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invented, it is thought by people like jeff to have the greatest chance to do that. the trouble is that when you're going -- the stuff is called nmc, by the way. when you are trying to shift from nmc to nmc 2.0 you just described it as watching the bowling pins fall. when you do that and those bowling pins fall, the architecture you set up in the house that you built, so to speak, turns into though as you drive home from here and half the front door is in the back door in the living room is in the bathroom and this really happens in that battery.
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i know that you are trying to get the atoms to stay in one place. but that is a very, very hard thing to do and the stakes of putting the two pieces together -- those stakes being so very, very high. and being so very, very hard to you get hucksters and liars basically, claiming that they have got the answer, and give me $50 million so i can develop it. i wanted to roll back the second question. this is one of the things i suffered personally in the book, that one of the sources on whom i had relied for a very big part of the book and was at the closing section of writing the book, turned out to be a liar turned out to be deceiving me and the department of energy and general motors the whole time.
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and so a lot of people had to recover. but what you have told me is that this is a symptom -- is a big symptom of what is going on, and one problem with batteries. somewhat to roll back, can you talk a little bit about that and also again what is real and what can we trust that is out there? when wall street forecasts that in 2020 the utility industry and power companies will be in upheaval, that stationary batteries will be widely adopted in the united states, is that true? >> that is a good question. this is when i get into the realm of my opinion. i have other stuff that i would consider facts, but what was not said in the introduction, in
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1993i went into industry and went in to work for big companies and small companies, a couple of startups. before moving to the national lab in 2008. when you are hearing steve imply is that one of the great things working in the national lab is the basis of our careers, the scientist's careers, is very different from the basis of the careers of the product developers, which is where i came from in industry. the basis of the careers in the national labs and universities is to be the truth sayers. you do research, you public your science -- you publish your science in a juried fashion where others review your work before it is even allowed to be published. so there is a system in place where the truth really matters. if i skip completely to the other side of the spectrum working in big business developing products, the same thing is true there. because big businesses that have lasted for, i would argue, 30
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50, 100 years, have a reputation that they cannot allow to be diminished. so when you're developing products for a customer, even with the customer in hand, that truth matters. again, in my own opinion, in the middle of the spectrum where the venture capital world lives, it is not so much the case. i think it is a particularly bad problem when you look at the history of batteries the last 40 years in terms of exaggeration. i would broaden the argument to say it is beyond that because the reward mechanism, and the way venture capital works. the vc's want turnaround for five to 10 sx of their investment. you live quarter to quarter year-to-year, based on when you can get the next series of investment here it i say it in
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the book. it encourages exaggeration because it is either that or you cannot feed your children. it really does come down to that . when you work in a large organization, it is not quite that way. the reliability that the customer has on you as a supplier of technology is so high that it is not worth the risk of exaggerating to the customer. i'm not sure that is the answer you're looking for, but maybe we can continue this part of the conversation. steve: i am going to go at it again. so what do you expect to happen? come out with it, chamberlain. jeffrey: i was saying in the green removed for we came out here, it is the oddest thing that has been happening. i have been in the lab for eight
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years, and batteries have really begun to take off. the lithium-ion battery, total market share is about $15 billion per year right now. 90% of it is manufactured in china, japan, and korea. prognostications are it will be an additional tens of billions of dollars of gross to mustard product for some country or multiple countries. will that happen? that is a great question. then you throw in the grid. the great prognosticators say it is an even larger market on the grid. significant hundreds of millions of dollars. one thing we have noticed, j.p. morgan chase and other banks have come to talk to us recently in the last few months asking a series of questions that in my mind boiled down to one question. at one point do they take their investors dollars and put it into batteries?
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as a side note, it is fascinating they are asking scientists that question. it is the same reason steve is bringing up here. they do not know who to trust. when it is companies that have vested interest and the success -- in the success of the company, there is a conflict as to how that question should be answered. it is already here. is it coming? yes. in the last eight years, the market has gone from a billion dollars total available market to a $15 billion total available market. i would love to show you a graph the codes we put a graph together. i personally was shocked when we ask ourselves why our -- why aren't plug-in vehicles being adopted? when we looked at the data, the question was wrong. if you plot the amount of previous is the -- of pr
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iuses in, electric versus hybrids, from 2010 to 2015, there was twice the adoption rate of the prius and light vehicles. i was shocked by the numbers because i believe marketing works. i believe guys like steve. the media was harping on the negativity of the adoption of these vehicles. guess what -- i can show you the data later -- it is quite -- it is twice the adoption rate. it is still small, about 1% of light-duty vehicles in the united states. i was referring to the united states alone. what it looks like the beginnings of that best curve, and more importantly, from the bottom up, batteries in vehicles have cracked the market. it is starting to get the attention of big companies. when will it happen? i will rephrase the question.
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is it too early to invest? is it too late to invest? or is it beginning to be the right time to invest? i think the answer is in the middle. it is not too late, it is also not too early. the number of big companies from around the world coming into the national lab test questions about could we perform -- to ask questions about could we perform research for them, the tipping point is arriving soon if it has not already arrived. i would love to get onto the next topic before i hand the microphone back to you. what i just described touches on another part of the answer to steve's first question, why is this so hard? i give you the physicist's answer. because we have to use atoms is the building block. the other problem is a business problem. that is, what i mean is, how do
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we solve the problem of transitioning from the physics to a full-blown tech device? for those of you that have not been in technology, i cannot overstate how difficult the problem is -- as hard as it is to build a product -- a perfect set of bowling pins inside battery atoms that do not move, it is significantly harder to take that innovation and turn it into a high-quality, high performing profitable product. it is almost an impossibility. investment is at least 10x higher. we are relying in this country on startups, which is not a bad thing because startups can and ultimately give way to merger and acquisition by a larger company. but we competing with the asian world, where they operate more socialistic we or communist where a company's risk is lowered almost down to zero by public investment. i am not saying we should copy
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that. i'm saying that is the challenge we face. steve: i wanted to say -- i wanted to close out that one part and move to closing and let's shift over and see if anyone wants to ask anything. i think the tipping point is within sight. and it is concrete and indisputable. that is that you have gm and tesla both saying -- and one of them -- gm -- already having unveiled a car that will go to hundred miles on a charge, and both of them -- tesla aims to have its model three go 200 miles. both of them want to go to that sweet spot, $30,000 to $40,000 coming a big jump down from that $100,000 car. my wife and i just bought a
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honda odyssey, and that was about $35,000 bank. -- 35,000 right there. since that is in 2018, that is three years away. it is very close. tesla -- i am sorry apple is rumored, is reported to be working on an electric car. richard branson, bmw, audi, all of them aiming more or less in the same space. they see that the age, this new age is coming in this very short period of time. there are two pillars to winning in the electric age, in the super battery age. one of them is discovery. it is your guys or guys like you making a super battery. the other pillar is
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manufacturing them. you mentioned the innovators. steve jobs did not invent the smart phone. he is an ingenious designer, manufacturer, and right now the steve jobses of the battery world are in asia and your guys could invent the super battery. you already may have gotten the phone call that we have the super battery -- jeff, come home right now. but can you guarantee that that super battery will be manufactured in the united states, and so this is the next challenge that the united states really has to grapple with. and i think it is grappling with it. what do you think about that?
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jeff: thanks, steve. it is my own belief that the manufacturing problem is more difficult, significant, and more costly than the physics album. as hard as the physics and chemistry problem is, the commercialization of that physics and chemistry is significantly harder. i will give a couple of minutes of a history lesson about bell labs. i came into grad school in 1993 when bell labs was in its last throes. i'm representative of the era that is the on bell labs. in case folks in this audience do not know, bell labs invented almost everything that changed our lives. the microchip certainly but glass fiber came out of bell labs. satellite technology, cell phone technology. the idea, the philosophy of
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using binary code opened up the idea of using switches, which is what a transistor is, to advance computing using binary code. that came out of bell labs. most people know that, that the innovation that came out of bell labs was significant and changed life on this planet. what you might not know is that the venture capital world also came out of bell labs. william shockley, went to stanford and brought with him the invention. bell labs was licensing the semiconductor at one dollar per license. silicon valley exists because of bell labs. the venture capital model been -- the venture capital model exists because of bell labs. it was a monopoly, partly government-funded, and if they did not take 10 to 20 years of patient money, being a very rich monopoly, there would not be a
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silicon valley. it would have been age or medium -- a germania valley. if they did not spend another 10 to 15 years on it in bell labs it probably would have still been barking up the germania and tree. the question for groups like this one in the room is, how do we re-create that innovation ecosystem? i personally do not think we go back and create monopolies that are partly government funded. we are competing against that in asia. the question is, what do we do? is there a way to reach the cap -- is there a way to bridge the gap? these the questions being asked in washington and the universities and businesses today. can we have a public-private partnership that exists outside the fence of the federally run properties like argonne national
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laboratory, where we pull patient money in an bridge the gap between our doing science and handing it off relatively blindly to startups that will try to reach funds. led by the private industry as opposed to the research led by the public industry? much like sematech banded together, to make the chip ubiquitous in every device that we use today. can we do that for batteries? i think the answer is yes, but we need the help of think tanks like the atlantic council. i don't think scientists can imagine these things on their own without the help of think tanks, businessmen and businesswoman and the investors.
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steve: i think we should open it up to questions. could you please have a question , and the other thing is, identify yourself. since we have this problem with the system -- are we up again? ok. >> thanks for the discussion. you mentioned asia, and i am wondering, what is the balance between the level of cooperation and r&d and the innovation and competition? i know we have some bilateral programs with china, the pacific economic council. what is the tension between cooperation and competition within the battery technology space?
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jeff: that is a great question. argonne is one of the leaders in batteries. there is another one being led by the university of michigan in batteries. the essence of the answer to your question is that if you -- if we focus on being the basic fundamental science that is pretty competitive, then collaboration is a good thing. this is the way scientists operate. their whole aim is to publish -- find that discovery, published that discovery. the more brains, the more physicists and chemists -- i have myself been to china discussing with the scientists in china that problem. it is not just an american phenomenon that we compete and be the first of publish -- but the question gets back to the monologue before the q&a session
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opened up. if the desire is to have profit as opposed to do the research that enables the technology to develop the products that results in product, then we can carefully draw a line between those two things. if we collaborate with scientists not only in asia but in europe and africa, solving these core fundamental problems that will speed things along. but we have to draw the line at where the competition begins for developing products out of that research. there are ways to do that. i do not want to blithely say it is easy to do. there are ways to do that. steve: i witnessed -- the first time that i went to argonne jeff was hosting the chinese minister of science and technology and trying to actively, in a conspiratorial
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way, hide from him the stuff they presumed he was really after. he was not after coming into collaborate -- he was not after coming in to collaborate, like he said. what i observed is that there is, from president obama down, this very high-minded statesmanlike notion that, hey we are all trying to change the world, save the world, and can't we all do it together? and the formation of committees and groups that meet every year. my own experience -- and jeff may bitterly dispute this -- it is on paper. they are sitting there and exchanging their favorite -- their favorite coffee flavor in starbucks, and not delving into
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the batteries because the competition is so stiff. here in the doe, there is a paranoia almost about we are developing this, and are the chinese going to get it? this race, this competition between nations is uppermost to read it is almost a subtext to every decision, every competition, the whole vision has that as a subtext. jeff: will i get a chance to bitterly dispute it? i will not bitterly dispute it, but i will add some flavor to what steve is saying. it is kind of on paper, but the reason it is is that the first thing we do is we patent our
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innovations. so when we talk, it has already been written down somewhere, either in a publication or a patent or both. but that still triggers -- this is my bitter dispute -- that still triggers the spirit of collaboration, the fact that we are talking about what we do. we have policy and place before we discuss the science. -- we have policy in place before we discuss the science. david: david from the heritage foundation. how different is the lithium ion battery from what it was 10 years ago? if we look at the tesla, is there innovation in producing the same thing cheaper, or is there something fundamentally chemically physically improved about it? jeff: thank you for that
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question. that was a very important question that was just asked. because when you go to walgreens to buy an alkaline battery or you go to pep boys or walmart to buy and want -- to buy a battery for your car -- what you may not know is that a name in itself is dictating a special quality about that battery. it is not the case with lithium-ion. when lithium ion first came out it was carbon on the anode that allowed lithium to move back and forth. the lithium-ion, when you say the word lithium ion battery the only thing you are dictating is the counter ion that moves back and forth between the anode and the cathode. you can change every material in the battery and still call it a lithium-ion battery. this is the source of much confusion in the government and with the public, that you can massively advance lithium-ion batteries, but it is called a
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lithium-ion battery. so the batteries in tesla have nickel cobalt aluminum in them instead of nickel oxide. it holds more energy and it is cheaper to make and holds more energy. the nmc 2.0 is even less expensive than nickel cobalt aluminum. but again, that is just going to be called a lithium-ion battery. down at the materials and physics level, there has been a series of innovations that has occurred, trying to move from carbon to silicon. silicon holds about seven times as much lithium as cartman does. as the industry moves to that, -- as cartman does. as the industry moves to that -- you on musk and tesla is completely relying on innovations on the and you factoring side, not innovations
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in materials. that is too risky. this is worth mentioning. i used to record on little cassette tapes voices or songs on the radio. that does not happen anymore. but the way lithium ion batteries are made is the same way those tapes were made. particles put on a sheet of plastic so that you can magnetically store information on that tape. as the industry was dying in the late 1980's and early 1990's and lithium-ion was coming to life, japanese manufacturer said why don't we just use this equipment that we are mothballing over here. which is very different from saying like what happened in the microchip world, what is the best way to deposit these materials? what is the least expensive least time-consuming, highest-quality way, and those innovations are happening right now. once the market cracked, $10 billion to $14 billion, the big
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players got involved, so they are trying to innovate in the manufacturing process itself. beyond that, we are working on filling the front end of the pipeline. can we move on to magnesium or aluminum? that is really far afield. that is frontier science. there are enormous innovations that will occur that will improve with the lithium-ion batteries. decreasing the cost in half or a third. that is a very important question. steve: i wanted to get very specific on this. it just takes 60 seconds. the question is, has lithium ion advanced over the last 10 years? i already told the group that a silicon valley startup had
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deceived gm. that was gm's 200-mile car. akerson was going around and saying we are going to have a 200-mile car. that was the start of. -- that was the start up. but detroit two months ago unveiled its concept car, the bolt. lg, which supplies gm, took the nmc, the argonne material that had as its bolt plug-in, and it was partly stable. when they do that, they make the battery weaker. all it can do is service a volt. lg did enough work over the last
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three or four years that stabilize the nmc. the battery going into the bolt is almost pure nmc. they made enough advance stabilizing this lithium-ion battery, that instead of going 30 miles with the bolt, it goes 200 miles for the same price. >> thanks. in the late 19th century, early 20th century, there were breakthrough inventions that i do not think were government-funded. the telephone, photographs, motion pictures, and so forth. these were mostly invented without large government funding. what is the difference between now and then? making major inventions without major government funding you go
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-- without major government funding? jeff: i do not know the history of that particular type of technology as well as it sounds like you do. i know the history of things like the microchip, and that was heavily invested in by the government, particularly the military. what makes it different? let's assume you are correct. you know this better than i do. they use their own money or private money in terms of developing the business or the technology. but then 30 to 50 years later 60 years later, it was not so much the case. most people think bell labs is just a monopoly sitting on a bunch of private money. they got a lot of money, particularly from the military, to develop their technology. let's look at the past. why the difference? i think it goes back to the
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bowling ball and allergy. edison hired an army of engineers and tried every single material he could find to build the lightbulb. this is why they call it the edit sony and -- the edisonian approach. to see how long or bright light is and how long the fiber exist. he tried things like human hair and horsehair. we ended up with tungsten filaments in our incandescent light bulbs. we continue to innovate and tweak the -- it was the same thing with ford, continuing to innovate and tweak the internal combustion engine. we have something called the advanced proton source, where electrons spin around a massive ring around the speed of light and create really intense x-rays. you can watch atoms move around
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inside of a material. you can examine a protein and see what happens in dna. to do that kind of research, there has yet to be a company in the world to fund the building and operation of something like an advanced photon source. there is something at berkeley called the advanced light source. the supercomputers, we have them at argonne national laboratory and berkeley. i would argue they require public investment to get down to study, how do we design better systems at the atomic level so that once that understanding occurs, a product can be developed from it. that is the transition i was talking about. can we ease the transition so a product can be developed on the backs of the basic research we are developing. steve: in one sentence, the answer is those inventions in those days -- there were 5, 6
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industrial labs in the united states where private industry took it upon itself to spend the money to have an army of individuals trying every little thing, and they almost do not exist anymore. so the private industry is relying now on things like the national labs to do the same thing they used to do by themselves. this gentleman? >> thanks. jim woolsey, foundation for defense democracy. about halfway through your book, it is first rate. i want to ask a question that has mainly geopolitical implications, but it has to do with leveraging battery performance in plug-in hybrids especially by using natural gas-based fuels. dan: chaired an mi -- dan cohen
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chaired and m.i.t. study, that basically set for the family car you want to use methanol. make it out of natural gas which is much cheaper than it used to be compared to oil, and the numbers all look very good. you have a plug-in hybrid so you can go 40 miles on your overnight charge of electricity, and then it becomes a regular hybrid essentially, and you are driving the way a hybrid does. but if you were using methanol 85, m-85 15% gasoline for cold weather starting, using methanol from natural gas, the way i calculate it, you would be getting -- if what you care about is oil dependence and price, you would be getting a slightly better price and you would be getting about 400 miles
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per gallon of gasoline. because the only gasoline you are using, the only thing from petroleum is that 5% or 15% for cold weather starting. so i am curious as to why or whether you think we need to stay for innovation and moving away from oil for vehicles, whether we need to stay in the all-battery world. why isn't somebody working more resolutely to use both electricity from great batteries and methanol from natural gas to get the consumption of oil way down? steve: thanks, jim, for that question. the short answer is that there
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are inventors and companies -- and argonne and jeff will talk about this -- i am sure who are trying all of these. i am a believer in natural gas car future. it is for this reason. in economics, does supply create demand, does demand create supply? it goes both ways. one of the most interesting formulations is supply creating demand, and it goes back to -- the way i like to picture it is the cocaine model. did americans become hooked on crack cocaine because we started out being hooked on crack
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cocaine, and then the medellin cartel responded to that? or did the medellin cartel start pumping cocaine into the united states, and then the market developed from that? transferring that over the natural gas, here we are in a world where we are utterly awash in natural gas. i checked yesterday. natural gas is $2.86 per 1000 cubic feet right now. it is incredible. and the horizon for this supply is from here to eternity. so there are big thinkers including ed morse at citigroup -- he is ascribing to the
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cocaine version of natural gas and that is that this surplus pushes itself into the vehicle market over the next pick your number of years. you do end up -- because it is so cheap that -- lng cng ends up pushing it into the market. i want to broaden out your question a little bit because it is not just natural gas. it is super capacitors, it is fuel cells. the first time when i rode the bus with david at argonne, david was telling the chinese minister at sign 10 technology, was asking sandoval what do you think about twinning batteries with fuel cells in order to get there?
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jeff: another good question, jim. as a technologist, i am very high on hybridization. i want similar vehicles to be a platform technologies. the gasoline engine is just a generator or if you could move to natural gas, it makes a lot of sense. we at the lab are doing a lot of research on this. so, to me -- we had all kinds of conversations -- we would have bet years ago that pure electrics were way, way off. the odd thing is -- i learned this enough in my life and i should stop saying it is new to me. you cannot predict the consumer. the analysis from earlier is that the adoption rate is at the double edge of the prius. pure electric vehicles have outsold the hybrid plug-ins. that makes zero sense to me.
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why you can buy a car that has 80 miles per charge and takes many hours to refill it with energy, or to buy a tesla, which is an amazing vehicle costs 100 grand -- neither of those ideas appeal to me. what appeals to me is i live 18.5 miles from work. i can rely on energy. when i need gasoline to drive my son down to a baseball tournament in southern illinois, i can do it. a lot of talk about range anxiety -- can i just get a battery of three to five miles per charge? elon musk has figured this out, but it is not public domain yet. the reason every cargoes -- physiologically, 300 miles is about as long as we drive before we need to take a break, get coffee, go to the bathroom, get
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food. we do not want those breaks to be longer than five to 10 minutes usually. there is no system in place, regardless of how many miles you can put in juice in your battery to recharge it. i agree with what you are implying in your question, that hybrids are the way to go. they will still have the global geopolitical implications, the same security implications in terms of energy that we have in our soil and elsewhere inside the united states. as a technology, that is the obvious way to go. but if you look at the adoption the consumer is doing something different. the early adopters will drive the equation, the battery costs will come down, and we will refer back to these inexpensive hybrids or something. >> thank you so much for the discussion.
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i am from "china daily." speaking of asia, china -- what china and the u.s. could do, to operate in terms of spending on research manufacturing, and the promotion of new technology of energy resources -- what is the role of acp in this operation? and also how they affect the economy, the politics in the relationship between china and the u.s.? thank you. [laughter] jeff: big question. steve: i will take a stab at this, but then i am handing it straight over to you. only because you are right inside the game, the cooperation , in my own view, will happen
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after the innovation. the competition is too stiff. the stakes of winning are too high for any of the countries to cooperate with each other. you will not have japan handing over its innovations to china, to south korea, or south korea doing so with china, or the united states doing so with china either. look at what happened with lithium ion phosphate. john godunov, the inventor of the nervous system of the batteries in your cell phones, your smart phones, he invented another chemistry. this went on to be reinvented by
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a bunch of other people including a company called a123 that built its batteries, that built the factories to make those batteries in china resulting in 30 or 40 other companies who very quickly in china suddenly having exactly the same chemistry, creating competition for 12a123. for these reasons, i cannot imagine there being close cooperation at that competitive stage, where there can be collaboration or cooperation -- that is in the rollout of them. because both countries have very high stakes. china, for example, has a premier policy.
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china is right on the vanguard of cleaning up its air. this is the stage at which you can have in the united states and china cooperating. jeff: thanks for the question. that is a very big question you are asking, and a lot of people are trying to answer that question right now in the government as well as elsewhere in the world of dismissed. i would start by -- in the world of business. i would start by saying we all have to recognize, including our friends on capitol hill, that we live in a world economy. we increasingly are living in a more transparent world economy even with the competition steve is talking about. i will give you a couple of examples. in the battery world, steve mentioned lithium ion phosphate the a123 batteries. those batteries came out of m.i.t.. they had a problem where they had a $50 million recall.
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they had almost a billion dollar ipo. that quality problem is it had one product and it bankrupted them. they went out on the market and they split apart the defense part. did dod part went to a company. the rest of it went to a company to wong shun america. that bankruptcy happened about three years ago. it's plan is no -- it's plant is now operating at full capacity in michigan, selling almost everyone of its cells in china. i finally converted over from android telephone to -- i was a very stalwart person not wanting to go to apple products.
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but my kids all use apple and it was much easier to communicate very. guess where they are made. in china. we all love to revere apple as how american company operates. it is built on the backs of folks manufacturing in china. think of those two examples. are either one of those necessarily a bad thing? i am not a politician, i am a scientist the way i would answer the question is, yes. there is room to collaborate in the research with other scientists around the world. it is a tradition that has been going on for decades, if not centuries. the difficult part comes in, can you collaborate beyond the scientific research? you can, given the examples i have been giving you. a123, making battery cells to ship to china, making product in
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china to ship to the u.s.. steve: i think we have run out of time. thanks a lot for coming. [applause] richard: thanks, steve and jeff, a wonderful presentation. thanks to everybody here for your excellent questions. i want to tell you, at least we have planned our second of our technology series on april 24. peter dean, one of our senior fellows here today will be part of that. we will talk about the future of renewables from the viewpoint of the private sector. and where they see things going over the next months and years. i hope you will be able to attend that. we will be sending out notices of that in the next week or so. again, thank you very much for coming. thank you, steve and jeff.
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[applause] announcer: jim yong kim will talk about bank policies. -- world bank policies. later, a best-selling author ayaan hirsi ali. from the national press club at 1:00 eastern. announcer: during this month c-span is pleased to present the winners of the student can competition, the annual competition that encourages middle and high school students to think radically about issues that affect the nation. students were asked to create a documentary based on the theme "the three branches and you" demonstrate how a policy law or action by one of the three branches of government affected them or their community. shannon lamb, faith burton, and
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britney erickson from easton middle school in silver spring, maryland, are one of our second prize winners. their entry focuses on cultural sensitivity. >> as the leaves change color all of american minds turned to football. among the nation's fall football fever, the washington redskins are causing a nationwide controversy on the question of whether their name and mascot is offensive and should be changed. [music plays] on june 18 2014, the united states patent office, part of the executive branch of government, canceled the redskins' trademark, claiming it was disparaging of native americans. >> in the dictionary, what is defined as a racial slur?
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we as americans know that the redskin was inside -- the inside of a scalp taken and shown as bounty. >> the redskins were allowed to keep their trademark while continuing to appeal their decision. senators have spoken out about the washington team's name. >> mr. speaker, it is time for the national foot all-league and the nfl commissioner roger goodell face the reality that the continued use of the word "redskin" is unacceptable. it is a derogatory term patently on offensive to native americans. >> one day my daughter came home crying. i said why are you crying, what's wrong? as a concerned parent, i was very inquisitive. she said the name of the girl had called her "a dirty redskin." that name was not meant to honor
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my child or my culture. it was meant to hurt her. >> the controversial issue raises the greater question of how to handle cultural issues. in 1996, the washington, d.c., basketball team, the washington bullets, was changed to the washington wizards. washington d.c. was the crime capital of the country at the time, and some people felt that "alerts" was socially in's -- that "bullets" was socially insensitive. >> all the gun violence and murders taking place in d.c. -- what did he do? he voluntarily decided that the name washington let's was not -- that the name washington bullets was not very good. >> i think that was dumb also.
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i think he was a wonderful man. but i think that was overreaction as well. >> some people find the name redskins offensive but and that it is a racial slur. but others do not and think it should not be changed. >> if they read the redskins history, they would not find it offensive. >> the redskins are my favorite team because i was worn and raised in pg county in silver spring and i like all the home teams. >> christine brennan, a d.c. sports commentator, finds it racist and offensive. >> it is simple. i believe it should change and i believe it will change. >> if the redskins name were to change the local community would change as well. >> i will turn in my season tickets. i could not support them. >> the redskins still hold
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tremendous sentimental value to local fans. >> sitting down with my dad, my granddad as a kid, my father was watching the washington redskins. it brings back a lot of memories. >> it is iconic for may. i grew up loving the redskins, i was singing "hail to the redskins" when i was a kid. in this town, to me, it is an iconic symbol and a brand, and it would be tough to lose. >> thousands of people across the country have grown to love -- the changing of the name would hurt the redskins community, but some think it would save even more money for the owner, daniel snyder. >> he is a smart marketing guy. if he changed the name, imagine how much gear he would sell.
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everybody would have to change to the new jerseys and the name. i think he is crazy not to change, because he would take so much more money. >> we need to respect the dignity of these individuals and it is time to date the relationship. >> after the united states patent office canceled the team trademark, the team relied on activists to overturn the decision. in 2014, there was a decision. the judicial and executive branch affected the local community. >> traditionally, courts have always ruled 80% against indian histories, so we are kind of used to it now. >> people are angry and they are going to protest. that is the essence of the united states on so many topics. >> the name and mascot has created a nationwide controversy while raising the question of
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what is considered offensive and how these issues should be dealt with, as well as what role the federal government should play in these issues. >> i say to my colleagues that even the patent office was determining whether something can be protected in commerce, has said it is derogatory slang and offensive to native americans. >> no one today starting a professional franchise whatever name the franchise the redskins. they might call them the braves, the blackhawks, the seminoles, or the chiefs. no one would start a professional franchise and call it the redskins. >> if it is offensive i guess you have to look into making the change. >> it is just another street in the long road ahead of us. >> to learn more about our
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competition, go to and click on student cam. tell us what you think about the issues these students addressed in this documentary on facebook and twitter. announcer: each night this week at 9:00 p.m. eastern conversations with a few new members of congress. >> when you raised your hand and took the oath of office, what were your mom and dad thinking? >> i knew my mom would be crying, and my dad was proud. my dad is 82 years old, and he showed up and he usually walks with a cane. he did not have his cane. i said do i need to get the hotel to get you a cane? he straightened up and said, "i am in the capital. i do not need a cane today." i know that he was super proud. announcer: the five newest members of congress talk about their careers and personal lives and share insight about how things work on capitol hill.
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join us for all their conversations each night at 9:00 eastern on c-span. announcer: washington journal is next. we will take your calls and look at today positive spirit kentucky senator rand paul will announce his bid for presidency today. we will have live coverage from louisville, kentucky, at noon eastern on c-span. barak's ambassador to the u.s. will talk about the military and political challenges facing his country. live coverage from the middle east institute starts at 3:00 eastern. coming up this hour, we will talk to economic correspondent nancy cook of "the national journal" about long-term unemployment numbers. then sheila krumholz will talk about campaign fund-raising.
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later, a conversation with tom rosenstiel about the "rolling stone" and uva rape story. you can follow on facebook and twitter. host: good morning, everyone. we will begin with rand paul's official bid. he will launch officially in his home state of kentucky. taking his campaign on the road to iowa, new hampshire, nevada and south carolina. the senator plans to get on the primary ballot in all 50 states. we will begin with your thoughts on senator rand paul and his presidential ambitions. the numbers are on the screen.


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